Mentoring & Training – It’s Crucial!
The time that you spend with your team outside of Sundays and worship team rehearsals is so important in having a healthy youth worship team. In our last article, we mentioned that at least twice a month, we get the entire band together for Bible studies, movie nights, or game nights. These events bond the band together and creates lifelong friendships.
Just last week, we were playing a Pictionary type game with some of our students, and I would draw various musical symbols for them to identify. As I drew the sharp symbol (#), one of my seven year old students yelled out with complete conviction, knowing she had the answer right “it’s a hashtag”!! We all just about fell over laughing :-).
You’re not just their youth pastor or their teacher, you’re their mentor, their friend, someone outside of their immediate family that they can trust and look up to. We have seen time and time again that God brought us a student not only to share music with, but to speak into their lives on a deep level. We have had students in crises of faith, grieving over the death of a loved one, seeing their parents go through divorce and their family being torn apart, bullying at school, etc. You can be the person that God uses to help them through these times, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing them overcome these issues and come to a deeper faith in Christ.
We also love to celebrate each student, especially with birthdays. On game nights or group classes, we celebrate that month’s birthdays with gifts, cake, and by all of the band members signing a card. It makes them feel very special. Many of the students in our youth worship bands have met in our school of music, become best friends, jam at each other’s houses, then form duos and trios and lead worship around the Las Vegas valley, even aside from our student worship bands that lead worship once or twice per month at various churches.
On group class night, we train our worship teams in the technical aspects of sound and production, as well as working through the musical details.
They have been trained so well, that the last event we did, I was setting up the video cameras for the group class shoot, and by the time I was done, all of the students had patched their instruments into their designated channels on the snake. Wow! How cool that was! Knowing that they can understand how to set up their entire rig, as well as play their parts, is a sound tech’s dream. They know what an XLR cable is, a line cable, a DI box, etc. We have taught them how to troubleshoot (like if their instrument isn’t working, is it going out of your instrument into a DI box, out of the DI into the amp, and out of the DI XLR output into the snake)? Is it buzzing? Check the ground lift on the DI. Is it sending too much signal? Does the instrument sound thin in the PA system? Is the high pass filter on that channel? We get a chuckle, because our students now actually know more than the average sound techs in some churches today, and they can help to troubleshoot problems without the sound tech having to run back and forth from the board to the stage.
In one of our group class training sessions, we asked the vocalists to each sing on their microphone. They were being quite shy, and didn’t want to sing in front of everyone. They would just say “check, check, check” in a quiet voice. We said “stop!” and instructed the entire group to go and sit in the audience. I told Michelle to go and sing on the mic, and I swept out all of the lows and mids, and cranked the high end on the EQ. The students started plugging their ears, making pained faces as she sang. Then I started slowly adding back in the frequencies that her vocal needed. We explained that when we ask them to sing on their mics, it is so that we can make them sound amazing with the right EQ, gain, reverb, delay, etc. Then they got the picture, and they have sang on cue at every sound check since 🙂
May you be blessed as you continue to pour into the next generation of worship leaders and musicians!